Computers & Electronics

What is the best (most reliable) router?

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  • Sep 13th, 2017 10:56 pm
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[OP]
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Jun 30, 2005
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I just got it from Newegg, installed Tomato, rock solid for 2 days.
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Aug 22, 2006
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codetrap wrote:
Jan 5th, 2010 9:43 pm
Personally, I think it's a waste of power and resources to dedicate a pc as a router, when there many small dedicated boxes that can do the job far cheaper and better than any PC & switch combination, without all the inherent vulnerabilities in software and hardware.
Power... maybe. A consumer router takes what? 10W? A PC maybe around 100W.
Resources... probably as well. But if it's an old computer that doesn't have the resources to run Windows well, it's already a "waste of resources".

I would LOVE to see a dedicated box that will outperform my pfSense for cheaper. And without vulnerabilities.
To pick up a PC, and a switch, you're probably looking at around $400, and for that level of cash, you might as well buy a Cisco 831. Unless you go and buy a supercheap PC and crap switch, then you're always going to have hardware problems with.
I recycled an old 900MHz P3 Office machine which cost me nothing.
Granted, a managed switch cost me $100, but it's not necessary if you have a 2nd NIC.
I never had issues with that thing for 4 years. I shut it down once to move it. Otherwise it didn't require maintenance.
Not to mention the ongoing cost in power/parts to maintain it, plus the investment in time to learn how to configure / support a freeBSD solution that won't be compromised in 10 seconds.
Cost in power I'll give you. I haven't had to replace anything in my pfSenses yet. I have replaced a good 20 consumer routers though.

And the beauty of something like pfSense/Smoothwall/IPCop/monowall/etc is that it's idiot proof. When I built my first linux based firewall, I didn't know squat. It's all WebUIed. If you can "manage" a consumer router, you can manage a pfSense.

So, while that may work for you, it's not going to work for the rest of the world.
Why wouldn't it?
Overkill, waste of electricity, and too much maintenance for most people.
Actually... if you count the average wattage per machine now that I've put them all in VMs, I'm probably consuming less power for the 5 pfSenses I have going in my VM than you do for your consumer based router.
And my pfSenses are 1000x better.

Maintenance? How about zero?
I install it (takes like 10 minutes) and reboot.
And then I forget about it.

Unlike a consumer router where I have to go reboot every few days because the load I put on it makes it forget it's a router.
[OP]
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Jun 30, 2005
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death_hawk wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 5:37 pm
...
I'm going to take you up on your claims, just because I would like playing devil's advocate. And also because I have a linux box and haven't figured out what I should do with it. So for someone "who doesn't know squat" like me, could you point me in the right direction to build "my [own] first linux based firewall" Y'know, since it's so easy and all :D
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IBOPM wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 6:45 pm
So for someone "who doesn't know squat" like me, could you point me in the right direction to build "my [own] first linux based firewall" Y'know, since it's so easy and all :D
Smoothwall. Do you honestly think they made their own from scratch? Not a chance, when Smoothwall is a free, preconfigured download made from Linux.

http://www.smoothwall.org/
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Nov 9, 2005
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I will have to say the Apple Airport

I have gone through many routers (2x Linksys (with Tomato/DD-WRT. D-Link and Trendnet). I am a heavy downloader (AVG 1TB monthly the last 5 years). The only router i have NOT had to reset was the apple.

Oh and I would never buy a macbook/ipod, but the Airport Xtreme is solid.
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Oct 13, 2008
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Calgary
death_hawk wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 5:37 pm
I recycled an old 900MHz P3 Office machine which cost me nothing.
Granted, a managed switch cost me $100, but it's not necessary if you have a 2nd NIC.

Maintenance? How about zero?
I install it (takes like 10 minutes) and reboot.
And then I forget about it.
Why do you need 5 pfsense instances going? Just curious. I did a little looking at it as well, and did a search for pfsense xbox live. I see that there are multiple threads on manually configuring live access. Out of curiosity, will it support xbox live out of the box? If you decide to play EVE, or Everquest, will you have to set up rules for those?

I will admit I am somewhat biased against these software solutions, based on my experience using them, and my experience interacting with then through work. But then again, it's because ISPs are attempting to use products like monowall in enterprise situations.

Anyways, its all good for you, and if you're happy, that's great. But the OP did originally request something that was in the sub $80 range, and unless you happen to have gear kicking around, it's difficult to do that. Finally, I'm not a fan of using ancient gear, because it's usually difficult to get parts for it when it does fail, and on average, it will fail at the worst time. (personal experience here)

Either way, it's all good.
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Aug 22, 2006
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IBOPM wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 6:45 pm
I'm going to take you up on your claims, just because I would like playing devil's advocate. And also because I have a linux box and haven't figured out what I should do with it. So for someone "who doesn't know squat" like me, could you point me in the right direction to build "my [own] first linux based firewall" Y'know, since it's so easy and all :D
1. Download this: (or direct from pfSense if you don't trust my link)
ftp://reflection.ncsa.uiuc.edu/pub/pfSe ... ler.iso.gz

2. "Unzip" (UnGzip?) with your favorite multi unzipper program.

3. Burn to CD

4. Insert said CD into a computer

5. Wait for it to boot into main screen. If you just want to test it out, skip to Step 8

6. "99" to install it to HDD. Follow the prompts using the defaults (assuming you have a blank drive, otherwise you'll have to goof around with dual booting that's outside this tutorial.

7. Reboot

8. Pick your WAN/LAN interfaces

9. Set your IP for your local host.

You're technically done. You have a fully functional router.
However, I would continue on to see what it has to offer.

10. Go to said IP.

11. Follow the wizard.

12. Have a look through the options and stuff.

13. Mess around with said options.

codetrap wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 11:31 pm
Why do you need 5 pfsense instances going? Just curious.
I haven't set up multiple WANs yet and this location has Teksavvy with a /28 and a Shaw line.
1. Tek "NoNAT" to hand out public IPs.
2. Tek Live
3. Shaw network
4. IPCop for Windows Updates (technically not pfSense, but I count it)
5. Testing network

I occasionally have a few others since I'm testing CARP failovers as well as MultiWAN.
I did a little looking at it as well, and did a search for pfsense xbox live. I see that there are multiple threads on manually configuring live access. Out of curiosity, will it support xbox live out of the box? If you decide to play EVE, or Everquest, will you have to set up rules for those?
It's just like any other router. You'll have to know the ports said programs use if it doesn't support UPnP. It'll be fine if said programs don't accept incoming connections.
I will admit I am somewhat biased against these software solutions, based on my experience using them, and my experience interacting with then through work. But then again, it's because ISPs are attempting to use products like monowall in enterprise situations.
Honestly... a Debian machine configured correctly can run with the "big dogs" in the routing world. I wouldn't do it, but it can be done.
It sure is attractive though spending a few thousand on hardware instead of 5-6 figures.

Anyways, its all good for you, and if you're happy, that's great. But the OP did originally request something that was in the sub $80 range, and unless you happen to have gear kicking around, it's difficult to do that. Finally, I'm not a fan of using ancient gear, because it's usually difficult to get parts for it when it does fail, and on average, it will fail at the worst time. (personal experience here)

Either way, it's all good.
That is true. However, if you put any sort of load onto a consumer router, it will fail as well. While it might not bust a HDD needing replacement, it usually requires a (few) reboots or leads to requiring you to put less load on or upgrade. Consumer routers as a whole are mostly crap. This is from your $10 special, to basically anything below a Cisco. And I mean a REAL Cisco, none of this Linksys rebadge crap.

While I do admit that it's hard to do under $80 (even a really barebone Atom setup is a few bucks more) it's REALLY worth it in terms of stability.
In my lifetime I've crushed a ridiculous number of routers. It's when I found software routers that all my issues went away.

EDIT: Oh and if you add a switch that supports VLANs in there it costs even more. Not a whole lot more if you're willing to go used. I picked up a pair of 24pt GBit H3LL from fleabay for $85 per.
If you have more than 3 computers, you'll wonder how you ever got along without VLANs. VMs especially. VLANs+VMs = AWESOMENESS
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Jan 28, 2007
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I just setup a pc router with Untangle. It seems decent so far, very easy to install, with a decent graphical interface. It runs on linux, but made very easy for the noob haha.

check it out, www.untangle.com and it's free, im using a p4 2.4ghz with 1 gig of memory and its doing pretty good so far, although i do need a new wifi router

so to the people with heavy loads, what's a powerful and reliable wifi router? i would be using it as an access point to my current firewall
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
edgarb wrote:
Jan 12th, 2010 2:13 am
so to the people with heavy loads, what's a powerful and reliable wifi router? i would be using it as an access point to my current firewall
Why not just plug in a WiFi card into your untangle Router?
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Feb 24, 2007
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So I just purchased 2 online from ncix and hope to have them soon.

I want to setup one up stairs to my main PC and then a second one in the basement as a bridge and wire my PS3 and Xbox direclty into that bridge router and hopefully have a very strong wifi network in the entire house for my 3 laptops.

My question is this - after installing dd-wrt, is it pretty straight forward to connect the second router to creat this wireless bridge?

Does the second routher just need to be plugged in downstairs and thats it?

Any quick steps would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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May 14, 2007
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I've had tons of routers, and the most reliable router was the single-band 802.11n Airport Extreme. It never froze, dropped connections or played unfriendly with certain devices.
HOWEVER, it is seriously locked down and you have access to nothing.

After that, I got a Linksys WRT610N and that was not too much fun. I've done the Tomato thing - didn't do QoS perfectly, but didn't need a lot of reboots. I've done the DD-WRT thing, works ok, needs reboots now and then on a WRT300N.

I've considered going back to the Apple just because of the reliability, but I also want my QoS etc.
Cybersid wrote:
Jan 9th, 2010 10:33 pm
I will have to say the Apple Airport

I have gone through many routers (2x Linksys (with Tomato/DD-WRT. D-Link and Trendnet). I am a heavy downloader (AVG 1TB monthly the last 5 years). The only router i have NOT had to reset was the apple.

Oh and I would never buy a macbook/ipod, but the Airport Xtreme is solid.
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Sep 4, 2013
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London
anyone still use this forum.... you know in the last 7 years... lol
Looking for current advise.

thanks.
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Dec 11, 2012
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had an Asus N66U for a number of years & it was rock solid on factory FW. beginning of the year, I upgrade to the TpLink Archer C7 & stock FW was garbage (for me atleast). flashed gargoyle on it & 9 mths in, good range good throughput with nary an issue. !st FW that allowed me to change settings without a reboot. the C7 is consistently onsale for around $70-80 & its so good now, I cant find a reason to upgrade.
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Jun 8, 2003
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Asus routers like AC66U B1 / AC68U / AC1900P
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had a belkin n750 with padavan aka a 56u. rock stable no reboots was ever needed for years.

Upgraded to a dir860l-B1 off ebay and has to be the most unbrickable router on the market with its recovery mode. I loaded with padavan. Has builds from the same guy who made builds for the belkin n750. Rock stable plus a much more powerful dual core/4 threads soc, HWnat and never needs a reboot. Have been running it since spring. Offers nas speed on the usb in either ntfs or ext. Decent range and runs cool and under 6 watts load. Sweet router with padavan firmware.

I also recently bought a xiaomi mini wifi 3g that was released a month ago. They have padavan builds for it same soc as the 860l-B1 with 128rom/256 ram. I haven't got around to loading it since its a little trickier than the belkin but will soon enough. It goes for 50 bucks at GB. I wager it will be as stable.

Padavan capable routers are very stable and reliable.

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